Friday, March 2020 corn closed up 1 ½ at $3.90, up just over 2 cents for the week. December 2020 corn closed at $4.03 ½, up 1 ¾ for the week. March soybean futures closed down 5 today at $9.41 ½, up just over 3 cents for the week. November 2020 soybeans closed down 2 ½ today at $9.69 ¾, up 3 ½ for the week.
Corn and soybeans have both been taking the “slow and steady” approach the last few weeks, corn prices up about 5 ½% since early December, soybeans up 9 ½%. On the cash side, that works out to about 20 cents on corn and 75 cents on beans.
Ethanol production came in at 318 million gallons this week, increasing 13 of the past 14 weeks and staying above the 310 million gallons/week needed to meet the USDA’s forecast for corn-based ethanol. Corn export sales were 24.6 million bushels, toward the bottom end of the range and the 2nd lowest in the last month and a half. Corn export inspections were also low at just over 13 million bushels, behind what is needed to hit the USDA’s current export estimates.
For soybeans, soy oil has been experiencing a recent rally. Malaysian palm oil hit 3-year highs, and expectations are for a 10-15% decrease in production this year. The primary reason for the drop in prices today was soybean export sales for last week coming in at 27.1 million bushels, on the lower end of expectations. We haven’t seen any recent adjustments in estimates for South American soybean production this could change if dryness in either Brazil or Argentina becomes an issue.